Royal Dutch Shell says 1Q earnings rose 67 percent

LONDON (AP) — Energy company Royal Dutch Shell says first-quarter earnings rose 67 percent, boosted by a rebound in oil prices and growth in its natural gas business.

The Anglo-Dutch company said Thursday that net income jumped to $5.9 billion, from $3.5 billion in the same quarter last year.

Earnings excluding one-time items and fluctuations in the value of inventories, an industry-favored measure, rose 42 percent to $5.3 billion.

Shell increased its focus on natural gas, a less polluting form of fossil fuel than crude oil, through the acquisition last year of BG Group. The company also cut costs over the past two year to adjust to an era of lower oil prices, which dropped below $30 a barrel in January 2016.

Brent crude traded at $73.86 a barrel Wednesday.